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Late divorce: “We must recognize the sorrow of adult children”

The cross : What role does mediation play when the question of separation or divorce arises within a couple after years of living together?

Isabelle Jues : the first moment when mediation can intervene is a marital mediation, the objective of which is generally a decision support for today and tomorrow. One of the spouses uttered the word “separation” or “divorce”, which provoked a reaction or even an electric shock in the other. Couples therapy may have been followed.

In a parallel and complementary way, mediation tries to put things flat. Understand in their history what has contributed to what they are currently experiencing. It may be a problem of redistribution of roles, during a transition to retirement, which by breaking the routine, for example on how to manage the budget, upset the family balance.

Another difficulty: the couple has trouble finding common projects, the paths of the spouses have become parallel. The mediator will help them go into the details of their plan to continue together (with what changes?) Or their decision to divorce (what will be the consequences?), By setting up a concrete organization, legally, financially , or that of leisure, etc.

→ TESTIMONIALS. Late divorces, an ordeal that upsets beliefs

Can mediation extend to the family?

IJ : Once the separation is established, when the divorce proceedings drag on, the conflict risks having repercussions on family relations. For example, the couple’s children no longer want to let their parents see their grandchildren. A second level of so-called intergenerational mediation is then set up, generally in a different space than the previous one, between one of the parents and his children.

More often than not, behind the refusal of children, there is the demand that the conflict between their parents end. This leads to a divorce mediation between the spouses whose separation often stumbles on financial matters. Mediation ensures that concrete solutions are found so that everyone finds their place.

What are the repercussions of divorce on adult children? The divorce of their parents is sometimes experienced as a cataclysm. Adult children can be shaken in their personal life, their faith in the couple, especially when they have built themselves on the parental model. It is a questioning of their beliefs, of their ideals. The disappointment is immense.

→ DOSSIER. Divorced and remarried in the Church

The fact that the divorce is going well helps children to grieve. They also need their pain to be recognized by their parents. This must translate into concrete changes, such as, for example, for the parent, agreeing to wait before imposing a new companion. In these circumstances, adult children ask to be considered in their place of child, that is to say that we must take care of them, protect them, at least symbolically. So everyone finds their parent or child, whatever their age.


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